I traveled all the way from Manila to a northern province of Bulacan to visit Bong in his hometown and to finally see his place and to conduct this interview.
I rode first an FX taxi, an air-conditioned Toyota Tamaraw FX public utility vehicle with a capacity of 10 passengers, and then took a shorter ride with a tricycle.
Bong met me on the tricycle terminal. His wife prepared lots of delicious cuisines.
And wow those are some of the most delicious stuff I ever had. No wonder Bong and his kids are really in big shape.
After we ate, Bong served some wines. I was not into drinking and also was Bong.
So we just had a small sips of it and I started asking some questions...
Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born in Meycauayan Bulacan and grew up in Salcedo E., Samar. Samar is a province in the Visayan part of the Philippines, so I'm a bulakenyong waray….
Schooling? Art training? I took Fine Arts Major in Advertising (1984) at the Far Eastern University and Interactive Multi- Media in Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore (1998).
What things -- both in art and otherwise -- have you worked on, besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time? I was a bandmember guitarist when we were in college,then became a textile designer until I worked in an animation company while doing comics at Atlas Publishing House. While Comics is a gig, I'm also fulltime in graphics design and animation.
How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics? Well, they're all lawyers and I'm the only one who hears a different drumbeat…
How would you describe your workspace? Is it part of your home, or do you go "to the studio"? It's a little garage like area where all things visuals are extreme , I have two drafting tables, one for pencil and one with a lightbox ,surrounding it are books for research and toys for added push of imagination.
Talk about your Family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you Married? Have kids? Anecdotes about married life, how it relates to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics? As for my wife, she's the most understanding person I've ever met, because like me she's an artist too, she was my classmate at the university, but for the kids ay-yay-yay, they always heckle me with why, how,when and where…
Tsobe is 7 and Bukoy is 5,both of them packing a lot of energy and curiosity…
What projects do you hope to work on in the future? Any project that will put my family in a comfortable environment.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten? If comics still loves me, I can still see myself doing what I really like to do best…
What's 1 thing you'll always find in your refrigerator? Water , its always water…
What's your favorite food? My favorite foods are adobo with egg, miso, nilagang baka, Japanese foods, Thai food and Hergertword food.
What are your favorite interests --Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports? I really like toys. I collect and create toys. I am a modeler of trains, dioramas, etc.
Have you ever thought of writing your own stories? Yes, I thought of writing animation stories and I have a creepy original story for Batman called "Silhouettes".
What's an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day Well for 2 months now I have this habit of jogging from 7 to 9 in the morning,enough to catch that early sunrise which is vitamin b, and then I go straight to work until 1 in the morning.
If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be? If I were not a comic book artist, I'd be a lawyer, so I guess
I'm a bummer …..
Well said. Thanks Bong!
(as Penciler / Inker):
IRREGULARS - Dark Horse TRIST 1 to 6- Image MICRONAUTS 1 t0 6 - Image SPYCRAFT CCG - EXTINCTION AGENDA, HYDRA SANCTION, DAY OF THE BULLET "KAPITAN AKSYON" - written by Rod Santiago (Novels) "PI JOEY" - written by G. De Guzman;first manga in the Philippines (Novels) "STAR WARRIOR" - written by Ely Bernandino (Novels) "HINDI LANG" - written by Jim Estrabella (Novels) "S7 PA" - written by Jim Estrabella (Novels) "HORROR HUMOR" - written by Arnold Pajaron (Novels) "WARRIORS OF THE NIGHT" - written by myself (Novels) "TAKIPSILIM" - written by myself (Novels) "LIMBASWANG" - A play "KALAKLAN" - A play
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